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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 9, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Bye-bye Metro, hello “Windows 8” style?

The news began emerging last week that Microsoft was no longer calling Metro, Metro, because of an apparent trademark dispute with German retailer Metro AG.

For quite a while, “Metro” was the name Microsoft used to refer to the distinctive tile-based user interface that’s front and center in a host of products Microsoft is launching this fall.

Now comes word, via sources of ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, that Microsoft is now apparently referring to the user interface as “Windows 8.”

So now, instead of using “Metro-style application” or “Metro user interface,” according to Foley’s sources, Microsoft is using the terms “Windows 8 application” and “Windows 8 user interface.”

So what does this mean for developers who’ve created apps incorporating “Metro” into their names?

“We have no immediate plans to rebrand MetroTwit and we have not received any official advice from Microsoft pertaining to the matter,” said Long Zheng, a creator of MetroTwit, a Twitter client for Windows.

Microsoft isn’t talking. The company has not officially confirmed that it will be using “Windows 8” instead of “Metro,” and isn’t saying anything beyond the statement it issued last week: “We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names.”

So does that mean we’re in for some convoluted names? “Windows 8-style Windows Phone 8 apps,” for instance? Or: “Develop great Windows 8 style apps for Windows 8,” if one is to substitute names in this banner below that’s up on the Windows Dev Center website?

Metro.JPG

Screen shot from Windows Dev Center website

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